Home / Blog / What goes in a social media strategy?

What goes in a social media strategy?

10 Apr 2012

Everyone is supposed to have one, but most people aren’t really sure what is supposed to go in one. It is one of those tasks that strikes fear into those that have never done one before, and sometimes those that have.

This is my attempt at telling you what I think should go into a social media strategy.

Firstly, why are you writing it?

If you need one to give you structure, direction and support in successfully using social media, then you are doing it for the right reasons. If you are writing it because your boss told you, but you aren’t really sure what it is going to be used for, forget about it. You need to make sure it works for you.

Make it relevant

[pullquote]A strategy document is a living, breathing document[/pullquote]

A strategy document should never, ever be written, filed and the person who completes it given a gold star for effort. A strategy document is a living, breathing and working document. If it isn’t… it has failed.

It shouldn’t be overly long – yes, you need to introduce what it is supposed to do, but it should be full of useful things, not long winded explanations and words to impress your boss. This is a document for you and your team, so make it workable.

Feedback on the document is vital. As circumstances change, the document must be updated to ensure its relevance.

Key elements of a good strategy:

  • Executive Summary
  • Role and purpose of strategy
    • Audience
  • Overarching objectives
  • Reporting
  • Platforms (Section for each)
    • Audience
    • Content
    • Management
    • Promotion
  • Internal Processes
  • Guidelines
    • Professional/style
    • b. Personal
    • Crisis management
  • Exit strategy
  • Actions

What really makes it, though?

For me, the most important part of creating your strategy is finding out about your audience. Not only your current audience (if you have one) but also the audience you want to attract. This is a job that should never be finished. It should also be one that is interesting, and engages the rest of your team. What can you find out that you didn’t know before? Can you measure results based on the information you gather?

[pullquote]The most important part of creating your strategy is finding out about your audience[/pullquote]

Ongoing research and knowledge gathering about your audience should be a fundamental part of your strategy. Spend as much time and effort on this as you dare. The more you understand and find out, the more likely it is that the content and activity you dream up will actually attract the audience you are after. Don’t forget: social media is a two way medium… so ask your audience who they are if you aren’t sure.

Don’t be afraid to dump bits that aren’t working for you. Only keep the bits that you are using and if there is something missing… add it!

Writing a strategy is not rocket science, but it is all dressed up as something scary and official. A good strategy can be written on a single side of paper, as long as those using it understand what they are doing, then it is doing the job. Don’t let it become bigger and more scary than it needs to be.

Here is a list of available social media policies, guidelines and some strategies from Social Media Governance.

Watch out for our social media strategy, we’ll be publishing it soon.

What do you think? Is there anything I have missed?